Guatemalan court blocks expulsion of anti-corruption commission

11 Jan 19

Guatemala’s constitutional court has blocked the government’s decision to kick out a UN-backed anti-corruption body, which has been investigating the country’s president.

The Guatemalan government announced on 7 January it would expel the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala, which has been running in the country for more than a decade. It was told to leave within 24 hours.

But on 9 January the country’s top court suspended the government’s decision after deliberating overnight.

The International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala was set up in 2006 to help prosecutors bring cases against senior officials and executives.

It had been looking to prosecute president Jimmy Morales over allegations of funding irregularities linked to his 2015 election campaign and was also investigating members of the president’s family.

UN secretary general Antonio Guterres has “strongly rejected” the Guatemalan government’s decision to terminate the commission.

The UK said in a statement it was "extremely disappointed" with the government's move to expel the commission. It called on the government to "respect the rule of law and the importance of strong, independent institutions, which are vital for ensuring security and prosperity". 

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